Friday, June 22, 2012

Time Trial Prep

Sid Dillon's Omaha Cycling Weekend is upon us, where this year's State road race and time trial championships will be awarded. While the road race returns to South Bend, NE for the first time in six years, the time trial course is on familiar territory in Yutan.

I'm excited about the races. Really. The road race is on a course that newer riders have never competed on. That's good for local cycling. And who isn't excited about time trialing? You know, just you against the clock?

OK, so I wasn't kidding about the road race. But let's face it: time trialing sucks. I mean, I respect it and all, but riding on the rivet for an hour in an uncomfortable position isn't exactly anyone's idea of a good time. That is, unless you also enjoy kneeling on tacks while yanking clumps of hair from your nose, or something. But still, I respect it -- at least enough to get out and ride my p2sl TT bike over the past few weeks.

So like your crazy neighbor who just has to show you vacation pictures, let's take a look at some of my TT training.

Workout #1 One day I brought my p2SL time trial bike along with me on the bus to work.

Tyler, a colleague also on the bus that day, was eyeballing my TT bike. After stating that this was the fifth bike he's seen me on, he then pointed to the aerobar's elbow pads and said, "do those things make it more comfortable"?

Yes, I suppose that's why the elbow pads are there. But really, there's no such thing as comfort on a TT bike. Time trialing is all about pain. Take Joe Friel's words:

Trialists have a superior ability to concentrate despite great suffering (The Cyclist's Training Bible,69)

While concentrating despite great suffering, I've never thought about the comfort those elbow pads brought me. In fact, I don't think about them at all. I suppose I might have noticed them if I had rubbed my elbows with 80 grit and soaked the pads with kerosene...

Workout #2: Another photo from the time trial training folder:

This workout brought me to the Ft Calhoun gas station where a mural depicts Lewis and Clark at Calhoun, the site of the Council Bluff.  Note in this picture that the army soldier is sitting on my TT bike while yapping it up with Meriwether Lewis at the campfire. Also note that this is the only photo I've ever seen where somebody's smiling near that bike. 

Workout #3 Some of you know that my cycling roots began with triathlons and time trialing. Eventually, I decided that I liked social/group riding more than trialing and became a road racer.  I haven't done a triathlon since.  I don't run anymore and I've lost contact with my old triathlete friends. The people I ride with now are roadies.  Therefore, I was surprised during a recent lunch ride when Wesley rolled out in a 2011 HyVee Triathlon jersey.

Now I know Wesley. He's picked up running over the past few years, and he mashes the big ring like nobody nowhere. But I'm not sure if he can swim. That's kind of a big deal for triathlons. So I asked him about the jersey.  He glanced back over his shoulder and said that it was given to him as part of a goodie bag from a recent charity ride he completed.

Oh, that explains it.

Wesley then clarified it further. "I would still be swimming since 2011 if I did that race."

I then rolled up to Wesley to inform him that in Nebraska, triathlete jerseys looked like this:

photos courtesy of Leah Kleager

I further clarified that in Council Bluffs, this is what was also called "riding a bike"

On a more serious note, I read recently that my buddy Eric "EOB" O'Brien broke his hand at last weekend's State mountain biking championships. That's awful.  You'll be missed at this weekend's road race.

You'll be especially missed at the time trial.

photo courtesy of David Seevers
Get well soon Eric.

Happy Friday everyone.

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